Age and Gender Differences in Emotional and Informational Social Support Insufficiency for Older Adults in Atlantic Canada

Gloria McInnis-Perry, Lori E. Weeks, Henrik Stryhn


It is well documented that nursing is concerned about the social support needs of older adults and the effects of those needs on health and well-being. Using survey data from the Atlantic Seniors Housing Research Alliance, the authors explore the emotional and informational social support needs of community-dwelling Canadians aged 65 and older living in the Atlantic provinces. The results indicate that these needs are not being met fully and that they increase with age. Also, men and women report different insufficiencies for specific needs; more men than women report having no support across all items. Nurses should be sensitive to specific age and gender support needs of older adults. They should also increase their social assessments and promote healthy social networks, especially for those 80 years and older. Further nursing research is recommended.

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